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On Non-League Day, lend a local side your support
Saturday, 7th Oct 2017 10:44 by @LucasMonk_

Today is Non-League Day.

As one will be able to deduce from its title, it is a day of celebration; a day on which non-league football clubs, and the sedulous volunteers to whom they owe their existences, are acclaimed.

Non-League Day was created in 2010 by a gentleman called James Doe, and though it was originally no more a mere social media experiment - which Doe felt impelled to engender after his beloved Queens Park Rangers contested a pre-season friendly at Tavistock - it now enjoys copious support from Members of Parliament, celebrities, media organisations and Premier League and Football League clubs, in addition to the non-league outfits themselves.

Non-League Day has been scheduled to coincide with the international break since its founding by Doe, and it presents non-league clubs in every corner of Britain with an opportunity to make known the sanctity of affordable football for all in local communities.

A great many clubs who ply their trade within the lowest echelons of English football rely solely on unpaid volunteers, who work so admirably and diligently to preserve what are, for their communities, effulgent beacons of pride. The coins and notes that are collected by such volunteers at turnstiles the country over are consequently invested into youth infrastructure and other projects and facilities that are all of avail to local people.

Furthermore, if you do come to attend a non-league match, your contribution is both acknowledged and warmly appreciated. This is not true of every Football League, or indeed Premier League, club.

If you do not have any mundane household chores to complete, or a small errand to run for a friend, then instead of observing a World Cup qualifying match from the comfort of your home - snugly ensconced in your favourite armchair - embark upon a short excursion to the stadium of your local team. Pay the inexpensive admission, buy an inexpensive matchday programme and immerse yourself in the immediacy of organic football - where players are motivated not by monetary gain, but by a genuine affection for the sport.

Since 2011, this verbose scribe has attended several Shepshed Dynamo matches. The club are members of the Midland Football League and, though notable success has often eluded them since their founding in 1994 upon the remnants of Shepshed Charterhouse, a trip to their humble Dovecote Stadium, in rural Leicestershire, reignites within me a fervour for the game. The club also possess their own unique non-league novelty: the street in which one locates the stadium is called Butthole Lane. Can Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool, or Manchester City boast that?

On Non-League Day, 2017, lend a local side your support.

Photo: Action Images

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